Service Engine Soon Light: What Does It Mean?

Check Engine Light

There are so many warning lights, gauges, and dials in modern cars. To alert the driver if something isn’t functioning properly is their common goal. One of them is the “service engine soon” indicator light. To alert the driver to some sort of malfunction is its main function.

The “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light indicates there may be a repair or replacement of your engine or transmission. It denotes a system failure affecting the fuel, transmission, ignition, or emissions rather than just a routine maintenance issue.

Please read this article to learn more about the service engine soon light.

What Does The Service Engine Soon Light Mean?

The service engine soon light indicates exactly what it says it does—you need to have your engine serviced soon. It does not indicate that the engine has malfunctioned or even that a meltdown is about to occur.

It does, however, imply that you should schedule a visit with your mechanic as soon as possible in order to identify the malfunction’s cause and, if necessary, have the car fixed.

In order to assess the situation and perform a few quick checks, you should pull over as soon as possible if you are driving and your service engine soon light illuminates. The issue could be as straightforward as a missing or improperly-fitting gas cap because the sensors that activate the service engine soon light are frequently triggered by an issue with the emission control system.

Read More: Why Is My Hyundai Check Engine Light On?

Service Engine Soon Light In Different Colors

You should be aware of the different colors that the service engine light can appear in.

  1. Yellow light: Minor Problem: Drive to the shop or quickly diagnose it yourself.
  2. Red Light: Major Problem: Stop immediately, turn off the engine, and have the vehicle towed to the nearest repair facility for an examination.

Reasons For Service Engine Soon Light

Faulty Or Loose Gas Cap

Check Engine Light

If the service engine light illuminates, one of the first things you should do is check this. Fuel vapors will leak from a cracked or loose gas cap, which may lead the Engine Control Module to believe there is a problem. It is preferable to address this as soon as possible because it may increase emissions and fuel consumption.

Low Fluid Levels/scheduled Service Overdue

The service engine soon light may simply indicate that you are a week or so past the next scheduled oil change for your car, depending on the type of vehicle you drive. It might not be that urgent. Have the car’s oil level checked as soon as you can because it could also mean that the level has dropped dangerously low.

Contaminated Gas

Sometimes something as simple as contaminated gas will cause an engine warning light to illuminate. This ought to disappear after the car has used up one or two tanks of quality fuel, but if you’re not sure, connect it to a diagnostic reader and have it run a test.

Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor

Any modern vehicle’s gasoline-to-oxygen ratio is extremely crucial. The car won’t run as well if that goes wrong. As a result of the mixture’s excessive gasoline content, too little oxygen can damage the engine.

On the other hand, too much oxygen may result in subpar engine operation or even engine damage. Later on, a damaged oxygen sensor might also have an adverse effect on the catalytic converter or the spark plugs.

Wires And Spark Plugs

Spark plugs and wires in every car deteriorate over time and must be replaced eventually. The combustion process may be impacted if your car’s spark plugs or wires develop a fault. The service engine’s soon light may turn on as a result of issues with acceleration, rough idling, hard starts or misfiring.

Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor

Any modern vehicle needs to have this essential piece of technology. Its duty is to gauge the amount of air that is blowing through the car’s air filter.

The onboard computer is then informed of the amount of gas the engine requires. Depending on how much air is injected into the engine, different amounts of fuel are required.

The car will stall and your fuel consumption will rise as a result of a broken mass airflow sensor. Spark plug damage can result from putting off replacing the mass airflow sensor. The catalytic converter may be damaged, which is a more serious problem that may require expensive repair.

When The Service Engine Soon Light Appears, What Should You Do?

Most likely, you won’t have any diagnostic equipment with you when your “Service Engine Soon” light turns on while you’re driving. However, once the light is on, you can check a few common items by the side of the road.

  • To find out what the service engine light on your particular car model means, check your repair manual (if you have one with you).
  • Check the levels of all fluids, including the engine oil, brake fluid, wiper washer fluid, automatic transmission fluid (if you have a dipstick for it), and coolant.
  • Make sure the fuel tank cap is securely fastened.
  • Check the engine to see if you can pick up any odd noises.
  • When was your most recent scheduled service completed? If not, check your service history manual to see if one is due. If you have a digital service manual, call your authorized dealer, or look for information on your dashboard menu.

If you are unable to identify any issues, you must take your car to a shop so that the trouble code memory can be read. If you have a home OBD2 scanner, you can perform this task yourself as well. 

Any codes you receive should be saved and you should try to find out what they mean. In order to see if the engine maintenance light turns off, try deleting any codes for emission issues that are not harmful to your engine.

If the light turns off after you delete the codes, one of the codes that were previously stored in the memory is what set off the engine maintenance light.

What If It Returned After I Turned Off The Service Engine Soon Light?

At each engine ignition and after the car has warmed up, the engine control module tests every component of the engine. It will realize something is wrong if a test is repeatedly failed by it. As a result, the engine control module may take a while to identify these issues.

If the Service engine soon light reappears, the issue is still present and requires another diagnosis.

It is frequently possible to identify electrical issues right away without the need for start-up tests. If the service engine light reappears, you must read the trouble code memory again to try to uncover more details and identify the issue.

Can I Drive While The Service Engine Soon Light Is On?

In most cases, the issues that are flashing the service engine soon light are not dangerous for your car. But before you keep driving, it’s a good idea to check all the fluids to make sure the level is okay. However, we do advise that it be fixed as soon as possible.

Yvette Brown

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